Three aggrieved leading governorship aspirants of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ondo State yesterday rejected the decision of the party National Working Committee (NWC) to uphold the primary result, which favoured Mr. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN).
The trio, Senator Ajayi Boroffice, Olusola Oke and Segun Abraham at a press conference held in Akure, the state capital, expressed shock over the action of the National Chairman of the party, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun.
At the event, which was also attended by their teeming supporters, Abraham was avoidably absent but sent his apology.
Speaking on behalf of other aspirants, Boroffice particularly described the decision of the Oyegun to uphold the result, despite the majority of the committee members kicked against it as very undemocratic.
He said they were consulting and would soon make public the next line of action on their political careers.
Boroffice said: “as enumerated in our petitions, which we submitted to the Appeal committee that was duly constituted by the NEC with the approval of the NWC of APC and as contained in the primary election guidelines of APC, the followining are the planks upon which our appeals are based:
“Fraudulent injection of 383 names into the delegates list that was used to conduct the primary election.
“Issuance of delegate tag to non-delegates and allowing the non-delegates to vote in the primary election.
“On investigation, 300 delegates tags were indiscriminately issued to non-delegates, two designated buses were provided to convey known non-delegates to the voting centre and voted to give undue advantage to one of the aspirants. “These among others, were discovered after the charade called credible election.
“It is important to bring into the public domain that on September 2, a new copy of the compromised delegates list was made available to all the aspirants by the election committee of APC around 10.30pm.
“On the receipt of the purported new delegate list, we all made a written protest letter, including Akeredolu transmitted our letters to the primary election committee chairman informing him of our rejection of the substituted delegates list.
“As democrats, having discovered the fraud in the process, we submitted ourselves to the process of redress as stipulated in the primary election guidelines of APC, believing that we are safe in the hands of supposed democrats.
“The Appeal Committee, within the mandate of their authority, having regards to the preponderance of evidence laid before it recommended that the election be nullified and another election be conducted.
“In line with the electoral guideline of APC, the report of the Appeal Committee was submitted the NWC for final ratification.
“Considering our strength in the APC and a total votes of 1,617 in the primary election, as the Apex authority in the administration of APC in Nigeria, we have always assumed sanity and reasonableness on the part of the members of the NWC. “We hope the members of the committee will uphold justice and exorcised corruption from the process.
“On September 22, the NWC considered the report of the Appeal committee and puts its decision on the recommendations of the Appeal committee to vote. The majority of the members of the NWC voted that recommendations of the Appeal committee be upheld.
“To our dismay and in a manner at variance with democratic norms, the national chairman overruled the majority of the NWC. He rejected the path of truth and upheld the primary election that its process was chacterised with corruption.
“We are determined to liberate our people and no undemocratic decision of a party and its leadership will be allowed to misdirect our attention from the goal.
“Therefore, we hereby condemned in absolute terms the undemocratic decision of the NWC. Since the party and the official leaders of the party have found pleasure in covering fraud, we owe the people of ondo state a sacred duty of liberation”.
On his part, Oke said he is still consulting and he would soon make his next line of action known.
He noted that “Whatever you might have since on the social media that I am moving to Action Alliance (AA), APGA, is the desire of my supporters.
“As at today, I have not moved from APC and if I want to move I will inform you people about my next line of action.